Universalism: From the Tower of Babel to the Last Things

3 min readFeb 20, 2019


Week 2 Notes

Continuing on from week 1, here are my notes on Thiel’s course on Globalisation.

Readings this week were much more holistic and interpretations were varied, some very interesting conversations came from what sets up for a very interesting continuation in week three.

The readings:

The themes of the week were outlined in the syllabus as:

“Would anybody ever have believed in in a single destiny for the whole world without first having believed in a single deity? Philosopher Karl Lowith’s Meaning in History gives an answer while it reviews all the ways the West has understood history’s meaning from the Bible to Kant and Marx.”

Some of the key areas discussed:

  1. What does the end look like for Christians, Transhumanism, or Western Liberals?
  2. Obama’s arc of history viewpoint [arc of the moral universe]
  3. Dependancy on an end point?
  4. How does death play a part in meaning, what will happen when we live longer/forever?

For Christians it is the second coming, for Transhumanists it is the singularity, where does that leave western liberals — what should we be striving for? If we do not have an end point, how do you make plans and take steps in the right direction without a clear end in sight? It is difficult to study Marx without establishing a religious element to what he tried to achieve although claiming to be an atheist.

Barrack Obama “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (Martin Luther King Jr). How do we guarantee that this is the case, times in history have led to generations being left worse off that they were when they begun. The arc is long and how do we establish blind faith in the arc without associating it to religion.

Marxism drew many millions into poverty with the explicit promise of eradication of the class in its entirety and that this temporary state would alleviate future struggle. How do we perceive blind leading the blind and the roll of leaders towards a better future, be it socialism or other. The end point for many over the past generations is a direction to a better life, what occurs at the point of resource and information abundance.

What is the ideal end point for most, and how does death play a part in this. Silicon Valley is investing heavily on the technologies of life extension, what is the goal for extension, what is to be achieved once you become “Gods”? How does technology play a role in bridging the gap between faith and science. What if society remains divided over this and where does that leave the world in regards to progress once the large % of the world is lifted out of poverty and resources are abundant.

It is clear that the texts answer well the roll ideologies in the past, however, what roll will they play in our future?




I live in London and work with technology businesses via @annection